Statement following the ruling of the Council of State
The Council of State confirms the decision of the Administrative Court of Lille
The Council of State ruled in favour of migrants, ordering the installation of access points of potable water, toilets and basic sanitary facilities in Calais. In addition, the Council ordered assistance for unaccompanied minors in order to inform them of their rights. Lastly, the Council ruled that the City of Calais must help all refugees who wish to remain in France to reach a CAO (Reception and Orientation Center) where they will receive shelter and assistance to claim refugee status.
Although this decision is an important relief for the associations working in Calais, it is merely a small step for migrants’ rights. Allowing people to shower is purely providing them with a semblance of dignity. We are awaiting sustainable, structural solutions to resolve what is first and foremost a crisis of borders, before a crisis of refugees.
Even with access to water, the living conditions in Calais are abysmal. Women, men, teenagers and children are sleeping outside, entirely depending on humanitarian aid provided by external associations.
Just this morning, Police came to Rue des Verrotières, where a large number of migrants are staying, in order to confiscate the migrants’ blankets and sleeping bags.
These last months in Calais have shown that even with the terrible living conditions, migrants and refugees fleeing from their homelands continue to arrive. Regardless of what is done to discourage them from coming, London Calling is stronger for those who have legitimate reasons for wanting to migrate there.
For l’Auberge des Migrants, the decision of the Council of the State is first and foremost a juridical victory, which will limit the suffering of people. Nevertheless, France is still far from a genuine welcoming policy.
The decision of the Council of State can be found, in French, here : http://www.conseil-etat.fr/Actualites/Communiques/Conditions-d-accueil-des-migrants-a-Calais